Funding to aid UK compliance with fish traceability laws
Projects helping the UK fishing industry and others in the supply chain to comply with traceability regulations could be subsidised by the EU.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is co-ordinating an EU aid scheme on behalf of the UK through which up to 90 per cent funding may be provided towards equipment, systems or software which supports the traceability of fisheries or aquaculture products.
In the autumn, the MMO will beable to put forward two projects to the EU for approval for financial support, each up to a maximum of £190,000. Consequently projects which will benefit large numbers of people are being particularly sought, with priority being given to applications made by or on behalf of groups of fishermen.
Under the EU’s General Food Law, traceability is compulsory for all food-related businesses to be able to identify where their products have come from and where they are going. They must also be able to provide this information to authorities if required, which is important in tracing potential risks that can arise in food.
Applications to be considered for the first round of funding need to be submitted to the MMO by 19 October 2012 and further opportunities will be available in 2013.
The MMO is co-ordinating the funding programme alongside its other EU funding work in administering the European Fisheries Fund within the UK. The relevant legislation however is implemented in the UK by the Food Standards Agency.
Applicants must stipulate how the items they are proposing will contribute to either internal traceability or external (otherwise known as chain) traceability systems.
In order to be considered eligible applicants must also state how their project ensures that each piece of fundable equipment meets recognised standards set by the General Food Safety Regulation (ISO 22005:2007, ISO 12875:2011, ISO 17367:2009 and ISO/IEC 15420:2009).